HHS renews COVID-19 public health emergency

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human services (HHS) extended the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency declaration, according to an announcement by HHS secretary Xavier Becerra last week.

The public health emergency was first declared in January of 2020 by the Trump administration and has been renewed every 90 days since. The renewal has broad implications for the U.S. healthcare system as well as social services. The declaration grants federal agencies the authority to expand certain programs such as Medicare and Medicaid without congressional approval. In addition, it allows for continued flexibility surrounding telemedicine and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements.

This is the 11th renewal of the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration. The extension is effective through January 11, 2023.